How to Look Exclusive and Stylish on a Budget
1. Good Materials
Remember, a big leather bag is a big leather bag regardless of the name brand on the inside. Similarly, a white cotton shirt is a white cotton shirt. The lesson is that if you consistently look for specific fabrics that are classics, you can’t go wrong.
One of the hallmarks of cheap clothing is a shiny, obviously synthetic fabric. Natural fabrics like linen feel expensive because they have the exact opposite feel. It actually gets better with age, whereas many synthetic fabrics deteriorate at an accelerated pace.
We all know authentic suede is an expensive fabric, like most leathers. “Vegan” suede tops our list of great affordable fabrics because it’s difficult to differentiate the faux from the real, so it naturally looks fancier than it is.
Cotton is a high-quality fabric that doesn’t necessarily come at an elevated price. Its natural fibers are its strong point, similar to linen, and the washable, low-maintenance fabric is easy to care for.
Rayon tends to age poorly, and it will often start to pill or show wear and tear after a few wears.
Acrylic pieces can lose their shape easily, so after you wash an acrylic sweater, for example, you may find it stretched out and ill-fitting. It also isn’t a very warm fabric for winter pieces.
Polyester has a bit of a bad reputation, but today’s versions have a decent feel, and the fabric is so ubiquitous in affordable clothing that it can be hard to avoid. We recommend considering each polyester piece individually—stick to affordable brands known for high quality, and always run your hands over the fabric to ensure it doesn’t feel cheap.
2. Affordable pieces
Shop affordable pieces, that look expensive. For example, I buy my designer shoes on the clearance shelf at DSW, Marshalls/TJMaxx have a nice affordable collection of the designer handbags, Target has really pretty off designer bags. Explore consignment stores or end-of-season clearance at Macy’s. Having a trendy piece is not a key; the most important is to find timeless items that fit YOU, even if they are past season. You can fake an expensive wardrobe by keeping it neutral. By wearing less expensive items and accessorizing them with the name brands, you can get the same look for half the price. Check out Brad’s deals: www.bradsdeals.com for discounts
3. Leather Jacket
Buy an inexpensive faux leather jacket you can match with many garments. Younger audience can find it in Forever 21: the left jacket for $42.90 (sizes S–L) and the right jacket for $47.90 (sizes 0X–3X). For more mature ladies, try Wilson Leather, Burlington Coat Factory
4. Good underwear
A choice of quality underwear whether it is a gorgeous bralette peeking out from your neckline or nude undies matching your skin tone will play a critical role in how your clothes look on you and how you feel about yourself .
To choose a good bra, go to Victoria Secret or Bloomingdale if you can’t afford their selection, get your measurement right and find it online or in less expensive stores.
Not everyone can wear thongs to hide panties line protruding from under stretchy bottoms, but there are seamless options, just have your size right.
5. Trendy tricks
Effortless is something we’re always value in style, and if you prefer casual or urban fashion style learn some new trends to wear your favorite outfits.
Master the different ways to do a tuck or partial tuck with your baggy sweater hem or shirts tail for easy look.
Some shirts are “asking” for a knot in the front at a waist, it will create the silhouette. Alternatively, learn how to roll your sleeves like they do at J.Crew. Or try a chic belt with your sweaters and cardigans for maximum impact.
6. Go wrinkle-free
Nothing screams “cheap!” louder than wrinkled outfit. It seems like something your mother would tell you to take the extra five minutes to steam or press your look, which will add instant polish to your favorites.
Hang your clothes in the bathroom while you take a hot shower to help get the wrinkles out.
Or buy wrinkle-resistant fabrics.
7. Go monochromatic
Dress head to toe in the same color. Not only is it incredibly elongating, but a monochrome outfit always looks intentional and put together. (Tip: Just make sure your whites are bright and your blacks match.) Or add some accent colors with your accessories.
Get your things tailored for a perfect fit. Taking the extra two days from purchase to have your neighborhood tailor nip and tuck your latest great find, versus ripping the tags off and wearing right away, will elevate the final product way beyond its original price tag.
Take accurate measurements when you’re shopping online so you buy stuff that actually fits. I suggest you visit a store and try on a few things, then locate them online for a discounted price.
9. Shiny accessories
There is just something about structural, gilded extras—whether a bag or jewelry or both—that make you look like you stepped out of the pages of a magazine. Use statement jewelry or killer shoes. Take care of your leather accessories; you can use Windex on patent leather, unscented body lotion on all other leather.
When storing your boots or bags – re-stuff them so they keep their shape and pack you purses in dust bags when traveling.
10. Coats and Layers
Tailored jacket is a stylish woman’s secret weapon. It elevates denim, polishes flow-y dresses, looks chic thrown over the shoulders and takes slim pants to the next level. Forgo the trends each season and focus on purchasing coats that are forever: classic camel, navy pea, black moto, belted trench, raw denim—every time you reach for a topper, you won’t regret it.
11. Dressed up jeans
We absolutely love jeans. Just make sure you add heels or chic flats. Jeans will rock button down shirts and tees, they could be worn with jackets and vests.